HMS London is a heavy cruiser of the British County-class, second group, designed and built in the interwar years around the restrictions imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty. Captains may look forward to the arrival of HMS London as the first 8’’ gun-armed British cruiser to make its way to War Thunder as part of the upcoming update 1.97 “Viking Fury”!
Briefly: The first British heavy cruisers designed and built in the interwar years, featuring 8’’ (203mm) main guns and good AA capabilities at the expense of armor protection.
HMS London, heavy cruiser, Britain, V rank.
- Hard-hitting 8’’ (203mm) guns
- Good anti-air firepower
- Light armour protection
The County-class cruisers, also known as the A-Type cruisers, were the first British cruiser vessels to be developed in the interwar period of the 1920s. Their design being heavily influenced by the restrictions imposed by the Washington Naval Treaty, meant that British shipbuilders had to find compromises during development in order to comply with the treaty as well as to meet the requirements of the Royal Navy for a ship capable of trade route protection.
This resulted in the creation of a ship design with good cruising range and adequate firepower, but very light armour protection in order to stay within treaty restrictions. The orders for the first ships were placed in the mid 1920’s and construction began in 1924.
HMS London (C69) was laid down in February 1926 and commissioned into service in January 1929 as the lead ship of the second batch of County-class cruisers to be built, known as the London subclass. During the 1930’s, HMS London took part in a goodwill visit to Venice and assisted in the evacuation of civilians from Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War, before being sent to drydock for refit in 1939.
In 1941, HMS London took part in the hunt for the battleship Bismarck, after which the ship was once again dry-docked for repairs. The following year, HMS London assisted in escorting several convoys in the Atlantic, after which she was assigned to South African waters in 1943, before joining the Eastern Fleet. HMS London continued serving in the postwar years, during which the ship got involved in an incident in Chinese waters in 1949 which left it heavily damaged. Being deemed uneconomical for repairs, HMS London was sold for scrap in January 1950.
In War Thunder, HMS London will be a new rank V heavy cruiser docking in the ports of British captains with the release of the upcoming update 1.97 “Viking Fury”. Being the much anticipated successor to HMS Hawkins, HMS London gives British captains access to the larger calibre weapons, namely 8’’ (203mm) cannons, and as such allows fans of the Royal Navy to fight on a more equal footing with top tier vessels of other nations!
Arguably the most noteworthy feature of HMS London are its eight BL 8-inch (203mm) Mark VIII cannons, split down into four twin turrets. Being the first Royal Navy vessel in the game to come fitted with these high-calibre cannons, HMS London will allow British captains to effectively counter some of the top ranking vessels of other nations, introduced with previous updates.
Apart from an impressive main battery arsenal, HMS London also comes fitted with a wide range of secondary and anti-air weapons, numerous and powerful enough to make even the most determined adversary think twice before committing to an attack. Namely, captains will have access to four dual 4-inch (102mm) dual-purpose cannons, two octuple and four single 40mm cannons, as well as eight dual and four single 20mm cannons. If that isn’t enough, HMS London is also outfitted with a quadruple 21-inch (533mm) torpedo launcher on either side of the ship’s hull.
However, while British shipbuilders certainly didn’t cut any corners as far as firepower is concerned, the same cannot be claimed about the ship’s armour protection. In fact, HMS London’s armour had to be kept very light in order to keep the ship within original displacement limits, resulting in protection levels being unusually low for heavy cruiser standards. In 1942 however, HMS London’s base 25mm belt armour was further strengthened with 89mm add-on plating, thus somewhat improving resistance to enemy fire. Regardless however, the ship’s protection remains relatively light compared to other vessels of this class in the game, meaning that captains are well-advised to keep their distance from any intense firefights.
In terms of mobility, HMS London can reach a top speed of 32.2 knots (59.7 km/h), thanks to the propulsion generated by four steam turbines generating 80,000 horsepower. As a result, HMS London may not be spearheading any attacks, although this isn’t necessarily a deficit, given the ship’s rather lackluster armour protection.
HMS London is coming to War Thunder as part of update 1.97 “Viking Fury” and will become available to all captains as a new researchable rank V British heavy cruiser. In the meantime, keep your spyglass close at hand and your sights firmly fixed on the news for more information on the next major update coming to the game very soon. Until then, calm seas captains!